Page:Climatic Cycles and Tree-Growth - 1919.djvu/91

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73
CORRELATION WITH RAINFALL.

into meteorological districts. Yet, in spite of local differences, mountain regions may be alike in major characteristics, for all the Prescott groups, though differing among themselves, cross-identify excellently with the Flagstaff trees 60 miles away. The sequoias also cross-identify perfectly in mountain localities 50 miles apart, showing that there is enough similarity in different parts of the high Sierras to cause the trees to agree in many variations.

Arizona and California. — Fully 450 miles intervene between the sequoias of California and the pines of Arizona, yet there are strong points of identity between them in the last 300 years. The dates of notably small rings are much alike in each. The details of this comparison have not yet been fully studied, but they support the idea long since expressed (1909) that Arizona and California, especially its southern half, form parts of a large district which has similarity in certain variations. A long acquaintance with this region throws light on the details of this similarity. The winter precipitation, which is largely in the form of snow at the altitude of the trees studied, has the major influence on tree-growth, for it is largely conserved near the trees, whereas the summer rains are usually torrential and the water quickly flows away. The winter storms moving in an easterly direction reach the coast region first and after about 24 hours are felt in Arizona. Thus, in spite of the coast range of mountains and the intervening low-level deserts, each winter storm passes over both regions and causes an evident similarity between them. In a large view they belong to a single meteorological district.

Meteorological districts and solar correlation. — In searching for a link of connection between solar variation and meteorological changes, we must bear in mind the effect of possible reversals in neighboring meteorological districts, such as noted above in Norway. It may be the lack of such precaution which has caused many meteorologists to condemn at once the suggested connection between the distant cause and the nearby effect. We must remember that districts may be small in area, and in combining many together we may neutralize the result for which we are in search. Some illustration of correlation found in small districts will be given in the final chapter.